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'Positive news'

Record number of suckers recovered. Biologists find 732 juvenile suckers near A Canal screen

A Canal suckersHerald and News by Lacey Jarrell 12/18/15

< This juvenile sucker is in the rarest life-stage, between 2 and 4 years old. Several agencies are working to increase endangered Lost River and shortnose sucker populations. Both species were give protections under the Endangered Species Act in 1988.

A record number of juvenile Lost River and shortnose suckers were recovered from the headwaters of the A Canal earlier this year.

According to a news release, biologists with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) found the largest number of juvenile Lost River and shortnose suckers since fish salvage operations began in the Klamath Project in the late 1990s.

In October, after the A Canal headworks were shut, biologists found 732 juvenile Lost River and shortnose suckers in a bay upstream of the canal’s fish screen.

Since the screen was installed in 2003, tallies have ranged from 12 to 250 suckers per year, the release said.

‘First positive news’

Roughly 5 percent of this year’s salvaged suckers are believed to be at least 2 years old, the rarest juvenile sucker age class in Upper Klamath Lake, the release said.

“We were pleased to see the 2-year-old suckers,” said BOR Klamath Basin Area Manager Therese O’Rourke Bradford. “Although it’s still a dire situation for sucker populations, it’s the first positive news regarding the suckers in a long time.”

The suckers were tagged and transported to the eastern shore of Upper Klamath Lake, near Hagelstein Park.

Lost River and shortnose suckers were listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1988.


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